Updated: Mar 15
I quoted a verse from the Quran in my title: مرج البحرين يلتقيان. I kept hearing it ring through me as I wrote this post. The Verse is "He merged the two waters together where they met" verse 19 from Surat Al Rahman (1). I have always taken the Quran symbolically with it's metaphors of nature encompassing it in every turn. It means different things to different people and at different times. So as I was writing this post I envisioned the two oceans of Islam and ACIM meeting. Two spiritual traditions that have fed my soul. If there is one place I feel they meet it is in the Shahada.
I've said this to Muslim friends before in describing my devotion to the text of the Course. The repetition of the Shahada is in every line. A part of me would challenge, pick a verse or two from the text and we would see how the Shahada is repeated within it. These two lines above are in the preface to the Course.
The section says:
Nothing real can be threatened. (Illah Allah)
Nothing unreal exists. (La Ilaha)
Herein lies the peace of God. (ACIM, Preface.1:1-3)
To the Course God is Real. Love is Real. Everything that isn't loving isn't God, and doesn't exist. So in Sufism the practice of repeating the Shahada is a corner stone of attaining a higher realization, or approaching peace. Simply reading the text of the Course rights your mind's alignment, and keeps you in peace. It's similar to reminding yourself daily of the Shahada, whether you are in a meditative state repeating it, or walking around. We are seeking peace by remembering La Ilaha Illah Allah. There is a show that really illustrates the Sufi practice of Thikr (repeating the Shahada or a Name). I'll link to it here because it's really worth the watch if anyone wants to see what Sufism has to offer the spiritual seeker. It's often hard for spiritual traditions to create films where everything done is internal and invisible, but this show actually did an exceptionally good job of what happens to a person as they repeat the Shahada in their day (2).
In Islam the practice is to remember that everything our eyes look upon is transitory and at once that within everything that is that Divine unity. In ACIM it highlights and strengthens God's name Al-Wadoud. Which means it highlights that LOVE is what lives Divinely within all of life.
The 'shocking' thing about the statement in the preface is the conclusion. With realizing that only the real exist and the false universe cannot threaten us, we come to peace. Why is this strange? Well to be a Muslim is to be someone who is at peace, that's the literal definition of the word Muslim and it's thought that only with reciting God's name will we attain it (3), i.e. only with reciting the Shahada, the truth that only what's real exists and is what matters.
Watch Yunus Emre, that show I mentioned above, it's totally worth it.